Losses due to COVID at Everton FC will total at least £170m, the club said on Tuesday evening as it published its annual accounts. Tony McDonough reports
Everton Football Club has taken a huge hit from the COVID-19 pandemic with losses of at least £170m.
On Tuesday evening the club published its annual accounts for the 12 months to June 30, 2021. They show Everton achieved record revenues of £193.1 for the year, up from £185.9m in the previous year, but posted a loss of £120.9m.
Everton says £103m of that loss can be attributed to the pandemic and, when the 2021/22 accounts are published next year the club expects COVID losses to total at least £170m.
In a statement it says the gate receipts for the season, when many matches had to be played behind closed doors, came in at just £200,000. The only matchday revenue came from three Premier League matches and one Carabao Cup quarter-final which were able to be staged with a small number of fans present at the ground.
There were additional costs due to strict COVID-19 playing protocols and a “significant contraction in the transfer market” which resulted in the inability to generate the level of transfer fees which could reasonably have been expected pre-pandemic.
Investment in the playing squad also impacted on the results. During the accounting period a number of players were added to the squad including James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
These latest results come against the backdrop of a significant milestone reached this week in the construction of Everton’s new £500m stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in Liverpool Waters, where work on the project started last summer.
On Tuesday, the club revealed the installation of the “fourth core”, representing the four corners of the stadium. The first pre-cast concrete wall has been lowered into place in the south east corner of Bramley-Moore Dock, offering a glimpse of the sheer size of the waterfront build.
The above-ground construction is now well under way on all four edges, with the Laing O’Rourke team delighted at the progress being made. Project engineer David Jackson said: “This is a huge milestone for us.
“There are four main cores in the stadium, and we started in the north stand and then in the south west corner and now, finally, the south east corner of the building, which is the final stage of getting up and out of the ground.”
There has been speculation over the club’s finances in recent weeks with reports the club could breach profit and sustainability requirements. However, Everton insists it is in a “secure financial position”. It paid tribute to “the continued unwavering support and commitment of Farhad Moshiri, the majority shareholder”.
During the 12-month period Mr Moshiri has injected a further £100m into the club via a share issue, with a further injection of £97m confirmed after the year’s end. Mr Moshiri stands to profit from the sale of the Royal Liver Building on LIverpool’s waterfront which is up for sale for £90m. He owns a 49% stake in the building.
Everton added in the accounts: “The club has also been working formally with the Premier League regarding its ongoing compliance with profitability and sustainability regulations.
“The club has experienced a unique set of financial circumstances in recent years, including committing significant amounts of expenditure to a complex new stadium project and dealing with the continuing and widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”